Abstract Zoom: A Beginning Value Study for Middle Schoolers


Based on a Realism Exhibit and a Museum Art Educator’s Workshop, I challenged my Middle Schoolers to a Value Study.

We discussed the difference between abstract and realism in art and in photography. Brainstorming ways to change a realistic photo to an abstract photo.

The students walked around the school grounds, taking pictures with an iPad. They zoomed in closely, then cropped as necessary to camouflage the identity of the objects they photographed.

Next, they translated the scale of the image on drawing paper.

Then, we practiced a Value Scale in charcoal and/or conte crayon.

We then had a discussion on examining our photos to find the darkest darks and the lightest lights within our photographs.

Student Rendering

Presentation of Student Work: Interactive Style

The artwork was mounted on black construction paper and then on art roll paper. I made a sign that says, “Can you guess the location?” and put up bifold cards with the answer, so the guesser could check their answer.

Overall, I think the students did an amazing job for this being their first Value Study Project and I can’t wait to see what they create next!